Reduced endogenous estrogen and hemicastration interact synergistically to increase porcine sertoli cell proliferation

Trish Berger, Alan J Conley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Both reduced endogenous estrogen and hemicastration stimulate proliferation of porcine Sertoli cells. The objective of these experiments was to compare the temporal patterns of response to each stimulus with the response to the combined stimuli as indications of shared or separate mechanisms. Within a replicate, one littermate was treated weekly with canola oil vehicle and remained intact; a second littermate was treated weekly with vehicle, and one testis was removed at Day 8; a third littermate was treated weekly with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole to reduce endogenous estrogens and remained intact; and the fourth littermate was treated weekly with letrozole, and one testis was removed at Day 8. Four replicates were evaluated at 2wk of age, five replicates evaluated at 6.5wk of age, and five replicates were evaluated at 11wk of age, with treatment ceasing at 6wk of age. Numbers of Sertoli cells were determined following GATA4 labeling using the optical dissector method. Levels of estradiol, estrogen conjugates, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and inhibin were determined by radioimmunoassay. Hemicastration appeared to have a rapid effect on Sertoli cell proliferation, but letrozole treatment had no apparent effect on Sertoli cell numbers at 2wk of age. Both letrozole treatment and hemicastration had stimulated Sertoli cell proliferation by 6.5wk of age, although the magnitude of the hemicastration response was much greater. Letrozole appeared to have minimal interaction with hemicastration at this age. Letrozole and hemicastration together increased Sertoli cell numbers at 11wk of age compared with either treatment alone. Estradiol and estrogen conjugates were dramatically reduced by aromatase inhibition as anticipated; treatment-induced changes in inhibin, LH, or FSH were minimal. Differences in timing of response and positive interaction at 11wk of age suggest that hemicastration and letrozole stimulate proliferation of Sertoli cells by two initially different pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • Aromatase
  • Estradiol
  • Estradiol receptor
  • Estrogen
  • Hemicastration
  • Proliferation
  • Sertoli cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced endogenous estrogen and hemicastration interact synergistically to increase porcine sertoli cell proliferation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this